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American Franchisees Honor Griswold Home Care

Griswold CEO presenting to AAFD
CEO Murphy speaks, back (l-r): Culp, vp of GHCFA; Purvin, chair of AAFD

Among the many American franchisors, Griswold Home Care, a 35-year-old chain of some 200 senior care locations, was recognized by the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers (AAFD) for having the best franchise contract, one that protects its franchise owners to a degree that stands out among all other franchisors. The AAFD, which stresses creating contracts that are fairer to franchise owners, has given Griswold its "Franchisor of the Year" award for 2017.

The new franchise agreement, which the AAFD called "groundbreaking," was a collaboration between franchisor Griswold and the independent franchisee association Griswold Home Care Franchise Association (GHCFA).

Stephen Rymal, president of the Griswold Home Care Franchisee Association, said, "This award acknowledges not only the hard work and the time and effort they [leaders of franchisor Griswold International LLC] devoted to overhaul and renegotiate our franchise agreement, but also the extraordinary commitment and incredible passion that CEO Matt Murphy and vice president of operations Mike Magid both invested in understanding and appreciating the concerns of franchisees and balancing the business needs of both franchisor and franchisees in crafting a franchise agreement that received the highest rating by the AAFD."

Griswold is in good company. Many franchise unit investment capitalists in various sectors have formed independent associations of some form or another, although not necessarily affiliated with the AAFD, such as the Burger King franchisees' National Franchisee Association, the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees, the Asian American Hotel Owners Association and the Meineke Dealers Association.

In his book The Franchise Fraud: How to Protect Yourself before and after You Invest, AAFD's chairman Robert Purvin stresses the importance to franchise buyers of looking for systems with independent franchisee associations that can push franchisors to fairer franchising practices, rather than franchisors who simply have traditional franchisee advisory boards. "With the problems in franchising today, it is finally the emergence of franchisee associations that provide some hope for the future," writes Purvin. Franchisee advisory boards, which rely solely on support from the franchisor, tend to dish out advice that often land on deaf franchisor ears. Worse, these boards can easily become top-down marketing arms of franchisors that use board members to sell other franchisees on the initiatives and procedures that franchisors wanted in the first place.

Purvin's book counsels franchise unit investors, "Stay away from franchisors that have bent over backward to destroy the efforts of franchisee associations, and have refused to negotiate with them. Where a franchisor has a laudable record in dealing with its franchisee association, you have some hope for an egalitarian enterprise that puts the interest of the system ahead of personal profit."

Griswold has been recognized as outstanding in its effort to recognize and accommodate its franchisees through their association in upgrading to fairer contracts and more collaborative franchising practices.

"Griswold Home Care is honored to receive such a distinction and to be recognized for all the work that went into 18 months of negotiation and collaboration with our franchisees and the GHCFA last year," said Griswold Home Care CEO Matt Murphy. "Common practice doesn't always follow common sense," said Murphy about how he was puzzled on the lack of franchisors in the industry that are willing to recognize and work with independent associations that their franchisees organize.

"The AAFD is pleased to give praise to Griswold and its CEO, Matt Murphy, for engaging Griswold franchisees and the GHCFA to redefine its business model," said AAFD chairman Robert Purvin about why this franchisor was esteemed above any other this year. "The AAFD is honored to place Griswold Home Care on our pedestal to recognize great franchising."

Murphy accepted the award during the AAFD's Total Quality Franchising Awards Celebration, part of the AAFD's 25th Anniversary Franchisee Leadership Summit April 30 to May 3 at the Renaissance Indian Wells Resort and Spa in Indian Wells, California.

"We want to be known as a franchisor that treats our franchisees with fairness and respect," said the CEO of Griswold. "I believe this award will help us stand out among other franchisors in our industry."

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Don Sniegowski is editor of Blue MauMau, the daily news journal for franchise & small business owners. Call him at +1 (270) 321-1268, tweet @bluemaumau or email don@bluemaumau.org.